BATON ROUGE, La. – TSU volleyball closed out cluster play with a thriller as they overcame a 2-0 deficit for its first win over Alabama A&M since 2017 on Monday morning.
A 5-5 tie turned into a 10-1 run in set one for AAMU as they led 15-6. TSU fought back and closed to within six on three occasions but AAMU scored the final six points to win 25-13.
AAMU led 8-2 in set two but TSU turned it into a back-and-forth affair as they outscored them 15-9 to draw within 18-17. However, the momentum was short-lived as AAMU scored five straight for a 23-18 margin en route to a 25-20 win.
With their backs against the wall, TSU had to put everything on the line to remain alive in set three. They jumped out to a 10-4 lead but AAMU scored six of the next seven points for an 11-10 deficit. TSU turned to its defense to reestablish momentum with a pair of big blocks as they upped the lead to 20-12. AAMU once again attempted a comeback as they trailed 22-18 but TSU refused to surrender as they scored the final three points to win 25-18.
Tied at 11-all in set four, kills from Danielle Lilley and Janiya Chapman sparked a 4-0 run which gave TSU momentum as the lead eventually grew to 19-14. AAMU scored three straight to draw within 19-17 but three kills from Chenise Cook helped set the tone as TSU closed out the set 25-19.
Faced with its second deciding set in seven days, TSU fell behind early as three early errors led to a 3-0 deficit. However, the Tigers responded with four straight to regain the lead but an attack error allowed AAMU to tie it at 4-all. Two kills from Chapman and another from Cook sparked another run as the lead increased to 8-4. The teams would trade points as TSU led 9-6 but Tyra Williams had the hot hand with three points as TSU closed out the match with a 15-8 decision.
Chapman led TSU with 16 kills while Lilley had four aces. Kourtni Collier added five blocks while Dallas Balanay-Flores added 31 assists. Kaitlyn Scroggins had 14 digs followed by 13 from Thalia Cordero-Moreno.
TSU is finally finished with its road matches for the 2022 season and can rest comfortably at home with its final four matches inside the H&PE Arena. The team is back in action on Sunday at 5 p.m. against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.